Marc W. Spiegelman
Advanced computation for multi-physics problems with applications to coupled fluid-solid mechanics in Earth Sciences (e.g. magma dynamics, carbon sequestration).
Ph.D. University of Cambridge, U.K., 1989
My early enthusiasm for earth sciences was fed by a steady diet of outdoor activities and PBS documentaries. When it became clear that I would not be the next Jacques Cousteau, however, I found that I could combine my tastes for backpacking and physics as a geology/geophysics major. As a Harvard undergraduate, I constructed physical models of mountain-building processes between stints as a U.S. Forest Service ranger, then moved to Cambridge, England, where I conducted my PhD research on magma migration in the mantle with Prof. Dan McKenzie.
I currently hold a joint appointment between the Departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES) and Applied Physics/Applied Mathematics (APAM) at Columbia. My group and I have been extending magma migration theory into a more general one that describes the interactions between solids and fluids in the earth. Magma migration provides an important link between large-scale mantle convection and petrology/geochemistry and my research seeks to close the gap between these two disciplines. This work also lends new insights into other fluid-flow problems; current research includes understanding the fundamental mathematics of coupled fluid/solid problems as well as applications to magmatism and reactive flow at plate boundaries. My work is primarily computational and my students, colleagues and I are implementing new techniques and technologies to take advantage of advanced high-performance scientific computing particularly in collaboration with CIG and the PETSc group at Argonne National Labs. With a quantitative basis for fluid-flow research, we hope to integrate this theory with Lamont's strong observational programs in petrology, geochemistry and mantle dynamics. This work forms a major component of our NSF IGERT joint program in Theoretical Earth Sciences, joint between the Departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Applied Physics/Applied Math.